MARK’S ARTICLES

Tim McGraw and Religious Tolerance

Some religions teach that there are many paths to God, and some teach that their path is the only way.  America has modeled unprecedented tolerance for religious faiths, no matter what they believe.  But this is no longer a given. My friend, Mark McKinnon, said that...

Politics, Propaganda and Pop Culture

Propaganda: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person; ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause. (Merriam-Webster) Pop...

Christmas Victim?

  By Mark Rodgers There are few seasons in America during which religion’s place in the public square is as hotly debated as Christmas.  This year, however, the context has not just been church-state separation, but our culture’s growing victim complex.  ...

Hell. Is it Real?

By Mark Rodgers Last week Paris, the City of Love, was a battleground of Hell.   And it was real.  And most people say the rampant killing was an act of pure evil.  For a secularized West, there are no categories for hell or an encounter with evil.  The religious wars...

When Do You Stand Your Ground?

By Mark Rodgers Earlier this month another senseless school shooting stole the future from young lives.  The political responses to the mass shooting in Oregon ranged from the Lt. Governor of Tennessee calling on “serious” Christians to arm themselves, to President...

Our Heroic Redemptive Journey

By Mark Rodgers Heroes give us “a sense of the possible.”   -President François Hollande The everyman story of the American and British heroes risking their lives for others on the train from Amsterdam to Paris last week will live in our memory for a time, but is...

Dear Jack, Too

  By Mark Rodgers Several months ago I shared my reflections on Jack Heaslip, the traveling pastor for U2, whose death recently was compounded for the band by the unexpected death of their longstanding tour manager. This month, I sadly have to share my...

The AI End Game

  By Mark Rodgers “It seems probable that once the machine thinking method had started, it would not take long to outstrip our feeble powers. They would be able to converse with each other to sharpen their wits. At some stage therefore, we should have to expect...

Polishing Brass at the End of the World

By Mark Rodgers Eschatology is the field of theological study concerned with the final events in human history.  The term may be hard to pronounce and appear spiritually and future-focused, but what one believes about the future has an impact on today. A recent...

Dear Jack

  [Photo: Dan Hardesty (The Last Bison), Drew Shirley (Switchfoot) and Jack Heaslip spend time together at a Wedgwood Artists’ Retreat] By Mark Rodgers Over the years I got to know Jack Heaslip, and a taste of the wisdom that he shared with his...

FROM OUR NEWSLETTER

Our Journey Through “Silence”

Six years ago the associate pastor at our church, Nace Lanier, alerted me to Shusako Endo’s masterpiece Silence about the persecution of Christians converts in Japan in the early 17th c., the journey of two priests who travel to bring back to faith an apostate...

Bridging Divides with Thanksgiving

By Molly Connolly The past few weeks have been a doozy- to put it lightly. What I sense from all sides (of which there are certainly more than two) is that people are tired, anxious and perhaps now, after a few weeks have passed, are feeling complacent and powerless...

Film Review: Arrival

By Michael Leaser Few filmmakers engage theological and metaphysical topics with as much dexterity and thoughtfulness as Denis Villeneuve. His 2013 psychological thriller Prisoners grappled with a father who recites the Lord’s Prayer at the film’s opening but then...

The Chi of IoT

By Mark Rodgers In late October I took a last minute, unplanned trip to China to speak to their national conference regarding the Internet of Things, which is a term that describes all of the devices that are connected to the Internet.   Following is the address I...

Can Film Inform Our Politics?

By Mark Rodgers The Clapham Group is founded, in part, on the understanding that culture is upstream of politics.  As a Christian, I have a set of convictions that inform my politics (see Andy Crouch’s excellent piece in Christianity Today on the Presidential...

A Look at the Post-Election Play on Poverty

By Kiki Bradley For many in this election cycle, the issue of poverty and inequality and a chance to achieve the American Dream certainly has played a big role.  Bernie Sanders elevated this to the forefront of his campaign and even Donald Trump visited several...

The Sheen Center Exhibits Artifacts based on “Silence” Novel

Exhibition Opening, Thursday, October 20 at 5:30pm More Partnerships catalyzes conversation around important issues of faith, hope, love and family with this new, powerful and experiential exhibit. Touching on themes of theodicy, suffering, and persecution, Stepping...

U2 at 40: How Bono’s band became icons of rock by singing about God

Via Premier Christianity On Saturday, 25th September 1976, four teenagers decided to get together to make music. Forty years of faith-fuelled songs later, Steve Stockman charts the spiritual journey of Saint Bono and his band. When the annals of 20th and 21st Century...